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The Federal Environment Ministry has launched a special award to recognise the international commitment of municipalities to establishing sustainable infrastructures. The award has a special focus on public service areas such as water management, waste water disposal and waste management. There is a great need for action in these areas at international level and great potential for German expertise. more

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At the opening of this conference, Barbara Hendricks called for a more responsible approach to plastics and plastic waste. Although the issue of plastic litter has long been on the agenda, the issue of plastic waste in rivers has only recently come into the spotlight - despite the fact that rivers are input routes of marine litter. The Federal Environment Ministry is promoting various research projects in this field. more

The federal cabinet followed Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks' recommendation and adopted the new ordinance on surface waters. updating and harmonising important provisions regarding the assessment and harmonisation of the status of water bodies. The requirements for categorising a water body as having a good status, which is at the heart of water pollution control, are now harmonised across Europe. more

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The countries of the Danube river basin agreed in Vienna on joint steps to protect the Danube. At a conference of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), representatives of 14 states agreed on management and flood-prevention plans for the entire Danube river basin. Gunther Adler, State Secretary for Building and the Environment, took part on behalf of the German government. more

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At the invitation of Germany, Finland, and the Netherlands, the Parties to the UN Watercourses Convention met in Paris on 15 and 16 September 2015. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, as it is officially called, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997. However, it did not enter into force until August 2014 when the 35th Party, Viet Nam, ratified the treaty.  more